Chamber recognizes individuals, business at annual meeting

Fairfield-chamberawards

The Rev. Charles Allen, university alumni chaplain and special assistant to the president, left, and George Szondy, president and chief executive officer of Abbey Tent & Party Rentals, were honored by the Fairfield Chamber of Commerce.

The Fairfield Chamber of Commerce honored an individual and a business with two new awards during its annual meeting and awards dinner at Fairfield University’s Dolan School of Business on June 26.

The Rev. Charles Allen, university alumni chaplain and special assistant to the president, was name Distinguished Citizen of the Year, while George Szondy, president and chief executive officer of Abbey Tent & Party Rentals, was cited as Corporate Citizen of the Year.

“Both Father Allen and George Szondy have contributed to the community in a variety of different ways, providing selfless help and support wherever they could do so,” said Beverly Balaz, chamber executive director. “In addition to their immeasurable community spirit, we also wanted to recognize their outstanding accomplishments and achievements.. both very worthy honorees.”

Balaz spoke about the progress and achievements the chamber has made during this past year, including 67 new members who have joined over the last 12 months.

“This is a historic number,” she said. “Our members are excited to be part of the new chamber as they see the many advantages that have been created through the year-long changes, resulting in new member benefits. Our new slogan is ‘building relationships, building business.’”

Pamala Shaughnessey Banks, the chamber’s chairman of the board, followed by speaking about some of the chamber’s future plans, including expanding and creating new sub-groups such as the Young Professionals Group and Women in Business Group.

There will also be a new speaker series that will include topics that are current and relevant for the membership, including marketing with social media; health and wellness; laws, policy and regulations; and a masters series that addresses key business concepts.

Invocation was given by university President the Rev. Jeffrey P. von Arx, First Selectman Michael Tetreau gave remarks and Business Council of Fairfield President and CEO Chris Bruhl presented an overview of the current economic outlook, not only in Fairfield, but throughout Fairfield County as well.

“We appreciate and thank Fairfield University for hosting our event in their beautiful Dolan School of Business center, and we also give special thanks to our participating sponsors,” Balaz said. “It was a wonderful and memorable evening as both Father Allen and George Szondy graciously accepted their awards with warmth and appreciation, and of course, with a little humor.”

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